Despite Black Friday nearly bringing the online poker world to its knees (the industry is still thriving overseas, but growth is a thing of the past) the online poker world has done little to calm the fears of the next Full Tilt Poker, keeping their inner workings, licensing, and regulations as secret as possible. Even PokerStars’, the shining beacon of the industry, claims of segregated funds is little more than a promise. It’s time for online poker to take the much needed step of divulging their inner workings. The poker world needs this transparency; from ownership to player funds in order to feel comfortable depositing their money at an online poker site.
So what can online poker sites do that would show their potential customers that they are now 100% on the up-and-up and transparent? Here are the three things I feel must be done for online poker to once again breakthrough to the mainstream public:
- Conduct Independent Audits
- Visible Ownership and Management
- Address Player Funds
The final piece of the puzzle when it comes to transparency is likely the most obvious to any poker player who has lived through Black Friday and the resulting mess at Full Tilt Poker: Player funds.
Until online poker rooms can clearly show that all player funds are kept segregated and are available at a moment’s notice the poker community will always view online poker with a skeptical eye. The debacle that was Full Tilt Poker has shown the poker community that even the healthiest looking companies can be nothing more than a house of cards.
Even PokerStars, which made everyone good after Black Friday, is operating on nothing more than a promise of account segregation. As some people have suggested they could simply have been in the same boat as Full Tilt with the exception that their owner, Isai Scheinberg had the money to cover the deposits in his personal accounts!
For players to be 100% trusting of online poker there needs to be an independent check that every dollar on deposit at the poker site is accounted for in a segregated account. This agency could either be the same as the auditing agency I explained earlier in this series, or a very simple independent entity that checks the site’s books every month.
So there you have it, my three ideas for online poker sites to adopt a completely transparent stance for the poker community. By allowing a truly independent auditing company to verify their RNG and the deals at the site (as well as look for cheating); making their ownership and management clear; and having proof that player funds are truly segregated.
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